Resolution of the Supreme Court – the claim for the compulsory purchase of illegally developed land does not become barred by the statute of limitation
On 16 May 2019 the Supreme Court passed a resolution (case ref. III CZP 109/18) according to which the claim of the owner of the land, on which the building or other device was built of a value greatly exceeding the value of the land occupied for this purpose, to transfer ownership of the land to possessor for the appropriate remuneration (Article 231 § 2 of Polish Civil Code) shall not become barred by the statute of limitation.
The above resolution constitutes a significant change in the current position of the Supreme Court, which until now was in the position that the landowner’s claim for the compulsory purchase of illegally developed land expires after the 10-year limitation period.
The aforementioned resolution allows property owners to demand the compulsory purchase of a part, and in extreme situations, even the entire land, on which many years ago another person erected a legal building or device worth much more than the value of the land occupied. This applies in particular to the situation of the foundation of power lines or gas pipelines on the undeveloped plot of land that make it impossible to build. The resolution of the Supreme Court may constitute a valuable weapon in disputes of property owners with transmission entrepreneurs, providing a legal basis for demanding the compulsory purchase of land that have lost their economic significance due to their illegal development.